I have used third party libraries, scripts for various projects. Most of them were free. I am just wondering how the people developing them earn their revenues? Will you buy if the small library/set of scripts is available only for purchase. Consider this - you need to implement XYZ feature in your app, you search google and short-list 2-3 libraries, you take a closer look at them and find that library A is good - but you only have demo version of this and need to pay some money to get full version that you need. Would you buy it from the site/person you haven't heard of, relying only on demo and docs provided? Or would you consider another free library?
Has anyone sold such scripts/libraries successfully online? Are there any liscensing issues? One needs to develop such solutions for regular programming and with some expereince & little efforts it is possible to come up with several generic solutions, scripts or libraries. But is there any realistic chance of selling them at nominal cost? Anyone involved in such libraries, scripts or projects? What are your thoughts?
Originally posted by Manish Hatwalne: I am just wondering how the people developing them earn their revenues?
Some people do things Just For Fun. Others give the product away and sell support or consulting services. To make a profit, you'd need to find a niche that isn't filled by existing products and develop something with compelling functionality that someone would pay for it rather than build themselves.
But is there any realistic chance of selling them at nominal cost? Anyone involved in such libraries, scripts or projects? What are your thoughts?
I purchased smartcvs. The free version is useful and purchasing a license gets you some very handy functionality The author, Thomas Singer, was always on the support forum willing to help. Perhaps you could ask him how business is doing?
Interestingly, I used JFreeChart and Dave Gilbert was kind enough to wave off the documentation charges for me, as he visited my site and thought he could offer it for free.
I understand doing it for free for fun - I have done lots of such small things (rather ridiculously tiny, as compared to Linus) for fun in my spare time earlier. But let's say if I plan to invest next one year in developing such a library ; does it make realistic sense to expect a buyer to buy for USD 100 or USD 150?
I like what you say about creating a "niche", I have come across this excellent script JS lighbox here that shows just amazing slide-show from existing images. Can such script be made into a selling product?
Whenever I have been to such situations, most of the time the intention had been to get a free solution. When we don't find one, we either try breaking our head, of course we need to consider on the time factor else we go ahead with the paid-solution. More often the client or stakeholder doesn't mind paying off the nominal cost, may be because the profit of completion of the project at the earliest makes these small costs negligible or the loss due to incompletion on deadline is intolerable.
Coming back to the discussion is it not all open-sourcing? how does open-sourcing differ from such a free-solution? how do open-source people make money? I don't think I would be wrong if I say every such solution is likely to end-up turning into some sort of "commercial" later, either by support or as soon as they catch up their name in market. As they say "there are no free lunches in this world."
Well, it is meaniful but not related to Java or JS or anything specific. Just ramblings & loud thinkinng as I am wondering if I coould do something similar.... I thought of posting it in Job Discussions but it was essentially about career. Cuuldn't think of any other forum where I can put this, becuase it is not discussing technical aspects of scripts/libraries either.
So my request - please let it stay here where most people can read this and add their inputs.